When I was preparing for this subject “the world trip”, it was difficult for me to find detailed examples of round the world budgets. Money being a taboo subject, few travelers dared to put their total budget or their expenses by country online.
What budget for a world tour?
But before talking about the budget, you have to understand that it does not necessarily apply to everyone. Indeed, a round-the-world budget depends on several factors:
- Continents / Countries: If the trip takes place only in Asia, it will be 2 or 3 times cheaper than if it takes place in North America, Australia or Oceania.
- Way to travel: Eating, sleeping in youth hostels and getting around by local transport will be 30 to 50% cheaper than in cool little hotels and mid-range restaurants and air-conditioned buses. If you go on a trip with your tent and you camp most of the time and hitchhike around, this will be the cheapest mode of travel of all. You can almost travel for free!
- Change of continent: the most expensive thing in a round-the-world budget are plane tickets. So, if your trip focuses on discovering a single continent, the budget needed will be much less than that for Asia, Oceania and South America for example.
So, it’s up to you to find the cheapest plane ticket to the continent you want to visit. And for that, the best is to go on a flight comparator.
Things to remember when establishing your budget
- The big expenses are (in ascending order): plane tickets, accommodation, transport on site and how to eat or sleep.
- The most expensive continents: Europe, North America, Australia / Oceania, Africa (country of Safaris and national parks)
- The most expensive continents: Asia, Central America, Latin America (except Brazil and Argentina), Africa (Maghreb, very poor countries ex Burkina Faso)
- Average monthly budget by continent
Obviously, I repeat, it depends on each traveler and their way of traveling. But it will give you an idea and a baseline on which to base yourself.
- Asia: 750 €> 30 € / day
- Oceania: 1500 €> 60 € / day
- Latin / Central America: 850 €> 30 € / d
- North America: € 2,700> € 90 / day
- Africa: 750 € <2000 € (depending on the country of the activities)
But once again, a particular expense, an activity that makes you really want more and the meter can quickly explode. This is why I recommend never having a budget that is too tight for the trip you want to take.
In addition, I advise you to opt for a credit card suitable for travel.
Today to make your life easier and manageyour budget well over time without typing the excel charts I did at the beginning, I use the Budgi app. It automatically converts your expenses in all currencies (or another reference currency) into euros and then gives you the statistics of your spending sectors. Nice little thing, it gives the average amount that other travelers spend in the country where you are.
Why shouldn’t a budget be too tight?
The idea of going around the world is to make the most of this year of dreams and discovery that will perhaps only happen once in a lifetime. This is why I advise you to do less but better. The trap is to fall into our reflexes of over consumers that we have in our country. That is to say, accumulate and chain in area full of activities and buy a lot of things without really taking full advantage of each of them. I therefore advise you to budget slightly above your estimate.
This will allow you to have:
- A safety margin in the event of the unforeseen
- Be able to please yourself when you deem it necessary (low morale or idyllic place)
- Offer you a visit or an activity that is really close to your heart
- Be less concerned with spending money every day
- Having a little more money in your estimated budget doesn’t mean having a lot of money. It is simply starting from your estimated starting budget, defined in relation to your style of travel and your way of traveling (which can be very modest), the idea is to allow a margin of + 10%.
If, for example, you plan to go to Asia for 6 months with € 6,000, try to leave with € 6,800 / € 7,000. I have seen too many travelers wanting to do a lot and getting frustrated every time they arrive somewhere. They took the bus for 14 hours, paid for transport and once they got there, the activities, treks, and monuments were too expensive for them. So, they only partially visited, not to say from a distance, which is what they had come for.
Another important tip is to plan some money for your return. Many backpackers come home from a trip after their bank account is empty! Big mistake! On your return, you will have costs: finding an apartment or finding a job (transport, clothing, etc.) for example, which involves costs. Before you can make any money back, it often means spending it to get there.
In addition to promoting the potential depression of returning from a round-the-world trip, it will make you feel helpless and stuck in your new life. What will be a sudden change or even a shock, after several months of total freedom and expenses without the fuss.
Otherwise you also have the famous Working Holidays Visa which allows you to stay in a country and work there for a period of one to two years.